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Box 17.9.a: The Cochrane Patient Reported Outcomes Methods Group

The main objective of the Patient Reported Outcomes Methods Group (PRO MG) is to advise Cochrane authors about when and how to incorporate health status and quality-of-life data into systematic reviews. Some Cochrane Review Groups have encountered difficulties when incorporating PRO data in reviews. Examples of such difficulties include pooling and interpreting data and evaluating the validity of PRO scales.


The PRO MG aims to:

  • refine methods of literature search on PRO studies;

  • develop methods for systematically reviewing HRQL studies;

  • refine methods for meta-analysis of PRO studies (in collaboration with the Statistical Methods Group);

  • refine methods for use of PRO measures in economic evaluations in collaboration with the Campbell-Cochrane Economics Methods Group; and

  • advise on software development.


The group gives advice to the Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group upon request, convenes workshops on health and patient-reported outcomes issues and methods, in response to the needs of the Collaboration, and prepares recommendations for this Handbook. Members of the group will take part in the preparation of Cochrane reviews and will give advice to authors through written material and training workshops. Members of the group will help review authors to develop protocols and reviews where it has been decided to include PRO outcomes.


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